Major Council in Ireland Calls for End to Fluoridation
On January 12th the Wexford County Council passed a motion by a unanimous vote calling on the government to cease and reverse Ireland’s Health Act 1960 that mandates water fluoridation in Ireland. The motion had the support of every party involved, including Sinn Fein, Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Labor, and People Before Profit.
The Wexford County Council represents approximately 150,000 residents in the South-East region of Ireland, and is now the sixth major Irish council to pass a motion opposing fluoridation. The vote comes only a few months after Cork and Dublin, the two largest cities in the country passed motions along with Cork County Council and Laois County Council doing so earlier in 2014. Together these councils represent approximately 1.6 million residents.
This string of councils calling on the national government to end its mandatory fluoridation practice has got some of the avid promoters of this outdated policy pretty desperate. They are throwing out abuse in several directions, including some wild words about the Fluoride Action Network. For example, yesterday we received a copy of a communication to the Wexford councillors from Gerry Byrne, an aviation journalist. Here are a few of the angry words written about FAN in his communication:
In passing a motion calling for the end of fluoridation you have demonstrated how easy it appears to be to hoodwink the average Irish county councillor.
Passing your recent motion demonstrates that you have collectively conducted no reliable research on this topic but allowed yourselves to have been duped by an international cult-like organisation called Fluoride Alert Network (FAN). Based in the USA this outfit (and its Irish followers) has untruthfully convinced people that water fluoridation is the source of numerous illnesses, was used by the Nazis and Russian Communists as a form of mind control, and causes, rather than prevents, tooth decay. They also say that it is shovelled into our drinking water by fertiliser companies as a cheap way of disposing of chemical waste “too toxic to be put in landfill”.
None of these things is even remotely true. Neither are claims that most of Europe “banned” fluoridation, that the EU opposes it, as does the United Nations and the World Health organisation. Again, totally untrue…
I would like to be able to say that the FAN organisation is a trustworthy, reliable and truthful body but sadly, FAN and scientific truth make some very uncomfortable bedfellows. It uses its website to offer its faithful adherents an “analysis” of the science on fluoridation and, having read some of FAN’s analyses side-by-side with the original research I find it hard to believe that I am reading about the same thing.
Scientific research consistently proves that fluoridation is safe and effective in preventing dental decay, but FAN will claim the science actually says the opposite. FAN gets away with this tactic because, sadly, most people lack the skills to interpret scientific data. And if FAN’s bluff is called by scientists or reporters, FAN will go into “shoot-the-messenger” mode and claim the scientists or journalists are corrupt or mistaken (FAN doesn’t appear to care which – I’m regularly accused of taking bribes)…
These are wild and libelous accusations indeed and particularly offensive to FAN. For over 14 years on our web page and in all our public utterances we have done our very best to remain as objective as possible, despite our firm belief that water fluoridation is a huge mistake- indeed, that it is one of the greatest public health blunders of the 20th century.
If Gerry Byrne is a journalist he is a sloppy one at best. What professional journalist would make charges against a major international not-for-profit organization without making even a rudimentary check of the facts. For example, when he says about FAN that “this outfit …has untruthfully convinced people that water fluoridation… was used by the Nazis and Russian Communists as a form of mind control” a simple check of our website (like putting Nazis in the search button) would have revealed the following quote from me:
“We have done our level best to discourage opponents of fluoridation from using this emotive argument. The historical evidence for this assertion is extremely weak. It is sad that the U.S. media has done such a bad job of educating the public on this issue that it is so easy for crazy ideas to fill the vacuum.”
But Byrne’s more serious and hurtful charge is that we manipulate the science. However, our health database on fluoride’s toxic effects and the potential for fluoridation to cause harm is second to none. It is larger and more inclusive than any database maintained by health agencies promoting fluoridation. One only has to check out the section on fluoride and the brain to see just how comprehensive it is: see www.FluorideAlert.org/issues/
Not only have we cited and excerpted a voluminous number of studies but we have even gone to the expense of translating many studies from the original Chinese and other languages so that they are more available to Western scholars. We are proud that the Harvard team that did a meta-analysis of 27 IQ studies (Choi et al., 2012) were able to use some of our commissioned translations.
Even more important on our website – as is the book I co-authored, The Case Against Fluoride (Chelsea Green, 2010) – everything is documented and transparent. If Gerry Byrne or any other proponent of fluoridation finds fault with our quotations or interpretations they are more than welcome to tell us. Like everyone we are open to criticism. But we admit our mistakes if and when they are pointed out to us. However, after over 4 years I am still waiting to see a scientifically supported critique of our book. But to argue that FAN in effect deliberately lies and sets out to dupe people is outrageously inaccurate and unfair.
When Byrne says that he has read “some of FAN’s analyses side-by-side with the original research,” and he finds it hard to believe that he is “ reading about the same thing” let him be specific. Which studies is he talking about?
Where is the weight of scientific evidence that allows him to ignore the potential for fluoride to damage the brain and lower the IQ in children as summarized here: www.FluorideAlert.org/issues/
Where are the peer-reviewed primary studies that he assures us that “consistently prove(s) that fluoridation is safe”? Have any of these studies been conducted in Ireland? How many studies can he offer to balance the 30 animal studies that show that fluoride lowers the ability of animals to learn and remember? How many can he offer to balance the 42 studies that have found an association between lowered IQ and fairly modest exposure to fluoride? How many health agencies that promote fluoridation in the largely English-speaking world have attempted such studies themselves? How many have even attempted a balanced review? More simply, what arguments would Gerry use to persuade a parent that it is perfectly safe for their baby or child to drink water containing a neurotoxic chemical?
Girl Against Fluoride Conference Video
Jumpstart Your Year of Activism
This month’s International Fluoride Free Teleconference will be held on Saturday, January 17 at 5PM (Eastern US). The call will be dedicated to fluoride activists from around the world and will feature you, the caller. This will be an opportunity to share your campaign goals for 2015, get feedback, strategize with other campaigners, and request support from your fellow activists. If you’re involved with a fluoride-free campaign or hope to start one, you don’t want to miss this call!
News You May Have Missed
–Fluoride Addition to Salt Held Off…For Now (Lebanon)
–Fluoride Now In Your Water (Sheridan, Wyoming)
–OP-ED: Water Fluoridation is Medical Malpractice (Bennington, Vermont)
Campaign Director, Fluoride Action Network